People I meet who are contemplating jumping into the deep waters of independent income earnings always wonder if they can do it, do they have what it takes, and should they even be thinking about it. A recent survey of Millennials, those born between 1980 and 2000, by Deloitte found that a full 70% of them think they will be working independently some day and jumping off the corporate band wagon.
I first offer guidance to those inquiring minds that they need to have their personal and financial act together first and foremost, have their dream and their passion and purpose pulled together, a bank account with at least one year’s worth of living expenses, no debt, and be able to live with ambiguity, flexibility, and creativity.
Successful entrepreneurs have qualities to cultivate deep relationships with customers and employees, have great focus on business outcomes, are creative problem solvers, and are the best spokespeople for their businesses. They don’t shy away from self-promotion and exert a self-confidence even if they don’t yet have it.
The top talent traits of successful entrepreneurs:
- Business Focus: You make decisions based on observed or anticipated effect on profit.
- Self Confidence and Confidence in Others: You accurately know yourself and understand others can do some things better than you and you let them do it.
- Creative Thinker: You exhibit creativity in taking an existing idea or product and turning it into something better.
- Determined Independence: You last through difficult times and are prepared to do whatever needs to be done · Knowledge-Seeker: You constantly search for information that is relevant to growing your business.
- Promoter and Relationship-Builder: You have high emotional intelligence and easily build relationships
- Risk-Taker: You instinctively know how to manage high-risk situations.
Take stock of your own talents and skills to see if you have these top talent traits that most successful entrepreneurs embrace. Understanding and acknowledging your inherent talents gives you the best chance at success. All the best in your success and if you need a little help along the way, you know where to find me.
I have a cauldron. Doesn’t everybody? I call it my Cauldron of Knowledge because that’s where I keep the magazines, books and other publications I’m reading at the moment or have on my To-Do list. I used to keep a bookshelf until I rescued a cute little doggie who had a penchant for knowledge. OK, I think he had a penchant for paper. Specifically tearing up paper and listening to the ripping sound as he held down the pages with his paw and tore the paper with his teeth. He seem to get such pleasure out of such a simple thing.
My need to reading pleasure and knowledge surpassed his need to shred, so I ditched the bookshelf, put most of the books behind an armoire door and put the current batch in my cauldron. His legs are too short to jump up into it, so I feel safe with keeping the wisdom stored in a big pot.
Rummaging through the reads this morning, I came across a poem by William Arthur Ward who wrote so eloquently on the Keys to Success. And since I’m doing a series on the Keys to Energize, I thought this fit nicely into the series.
The Key to Success is to:
Believe while others are doubting.
Plan while others are playing.
Study while others are sleeping.
Decide while others are delaying.
Prepare while others are daydreaming.
Begin while other are procrastinating.
Work while others are wishing.
Save while others are wasting.
Listen while others are talking.
Smile while others are frowning.
Commend while others are criticizing.
Persist while others are quitting.
I believe that about sums it up nicely. Thank you, William Arthur Ward for providing today’s inspiration while sipping some tea on the deck with my pup.
Don’t ask how, manifest now. A catchy tune to live by and grow by. We tend to get so caught up in HOW instead of trusting in the process and going to work on ourselves and our mission, that it stops people in their tracks who would otherwise be basking in what they could be manifesting. To be a master manifester, you’ve got to trust and believe in the process first and foremost and follow some intuition while you take action. Sitting on the couch eating bon-bons wishing for something different than what you have doesn’t cut it and isn’t deserving of great things.
Creating the life you’re meant to live takes concentration and thoughtfulness and harftullness. It takes the power of the pause to be hartful in your thinking and manifesting. Maria Shriver talked about The Power of the Pause at her daughter’s graduation. Take a pause to re-group and reconnect with yourself and your conscience decisions on which way you want to go and what you want to do and who you want to do it for and of course, WHY you want to do it. Take a pause for the cause and give this some thought every so often. Especially when things are getting hectic or seem out of control, that’s when you REALLY need to stop and take stock about what you’re manifesting. What we manifest on the outside is coming from our inside. What is going on in your inside?
- Is your big, hairy, audacious goal big enough to get your attention or is it just something on your to-do list. Is it on YOUR list, or is it really just a part of somebody else’s list for you? Is it in alignment with your values and your purpose?
- You must be fully committed to the cause. You can entertain a hint of caution or doubt, but don’t invite it to stay. As the book title from the 90’s states “Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway.” Kind of like I felt the first time I went bungee jumping. Even seeing the video of it 20 years later, I still get the chills and relive the fear, excitement and exhilaration all over again.
- Maintain an attitude of gratitude, appreciation, acceptance and graciousness for all that comes because your gift may not come in the exact same package you were envisioning. Notice what comes to you and be grateful for it. It may come disguised as something else to surprise you. Things are not done TO you, they’re done FOR you.
- Pause for more meditation, prayer, visioning, journaling, creating collages of vision boards and getting very, very clear on what you want and making your order specific. Get quiet and get going in the right direction of your dreams and allow yourself to dream. Allow your mind to wander and ruminate on “what if” and dare to make your dreams come true. Double dog dare yourself to make it happen. Sometimes a little friendly competition doesn’t hurt move things along.
- Have fun manifesting, dreaming, visioning and creating the life you love. My first company was FUNcilitators – we facilitated fun and effectiveness. I made a living for many years teaching others how to have fun. I studied how to create fun and leisure activities in college and grad school and how to help people actualize themselves through the outdoors, and fun leisure time activities and challenge sports. It was a blast. I’m a great believer in fun in whatever I do. If I’m not having fun, then it’s time to rethink what I’m doing and change it up a bit.
What are you doing to put some fun into your process of living and leading a Hartful life? What are you doing now so that you can sail (or kayak) off into the sunset happy that you experienced a life well-lived?
Studying the art of manifesting over the years; I’ve learned the more my choices of what I want to manifest are in true alignment with my purpose and my choices are purposeful and made consciously and not frivolously; that I’m able to manifest more. When I’m making choices out of faith and fearlessness and not out of lack or fear; then the things I need come much more effortlessly. When I’m very clear on what I want and WHY, the way is easier to manifest more of what I need to move me forward on my true path.
When we’re clear on the WHY and clear that it is in alignment with our life’s calling and it can move us forward in that effort and it is helping us make a difference on the planet and in the lives of others, then it unfolds more quickly so that we may move forward and expand the positive in the world. Your WHY is your road map to get where you’re going. We can’t get there from here if we don’t know our WHY. When we want stuff out of selfish reasons, or we’re unclear or ambivalent about what we want and why we want it. We muddle our order and the Universe muddles what comes to us or our order gets mixed up in the back kitchen and we get something entirely different than what we wanted. We may get what we needed, but not what we thought we wanted.
Knowing your big WHY is crucial in placing your orders so that you are sure you’re moving forward in the right direction and placing your orders to move you forward along your true path. Making choices in faith that you’re saying “heck yes” or “heck no” to opportunities that come before you and not saying “I guess it will do” or “It sounds OK, I’ll give it a try”. If it’s not a “heck yes!”, then it really is a “heck no!”
CONSCIOUS choices made with integrity is the formula for increasing the speed of your manifestation. Take some time to think about what you want and why you want it. Most people spend more time on their holiday shopping list than on their life purpose list. Take some time out at the beginning of this year to take stock and visualize what you want and why you want it.
Here are some tips to help you manifest more that matters:
- Find your WHY that makes you cry. That statement comes from one of my mentors and leaders Kody B. who founded his company on appreciation and getting in touch with your WHY. Dig deep for this one. I was recently speaking with an audience member coaching her on developing her WHY as she didn’t seem too clear on it. As we were talking about her WHY, it made ME cry. That’s powerful stuff. She had a breakthrough and I had a breakdown. 🙂 Get your WHY and you’ve got your roadmap to success – it’s your big picture.
- It’s already stated above – know your WHY. Your Why is more important than the HOW…I’ve written about this in earlier posts. Once you know your WHY, then the how’s will figure themselves out. Don’t let the how’s stop you. Ensure what you want is in alignment with your WHY.
- Be present, be here now and be in touch with your highest level of consciousness – give this some of your concentrated, committed thoughtfulness.
- Operate above the line out of absolute integrity and believe in IT and yourself and the process, then take action. Do something or lots of things to make it happen, start the momentum rolling.
- As mentioned above – your goal must be worthy. Worthy of your time and attention, worthy of others and worth the effort to more than just you. Your intention matters here….bringing us back to your WHY. If your intentions are thinly veiled to help others and in reality you’re the only one really profiting; then what you get may not stay for long.
Stay tuned for more manifesting matters in the next post. I hope you get what you’re looking for this year.
We are responsible for our own success or lack thereof. We are responsible for the outer world we have created from our inner world. We are responsible for our internal threshold thermostat for success we have set for ourselves that stems from learned behaviors back when we didn’t even know we were learning them. Some experts call it a Success Blueprint, some call it an Upper Limit Barrier, others call it our personal glass ceiling. Whatever you call it, you’ve set your own personal threshold thermostat at your comfort zone and when we stay comfy, cozy in our comfort zone, we are no longer learning and we cannot reach our gifts of brilliance.
When we are children, we internalize ideas of how the world is and how we are in it based on what we heard from parents, siblings, school mates, teachers and coaches. We grow up thinking it’s all true when it really isn’t. It’s our job to shine a light on these beliefs and pick them apart to see if it really is true or just something that somebody else believed and stuck on us and we took it with us and hang on to it. It’s not so much as learning about new paths to success, as it is about unlearning some of the stuff that we took to be true, that really isn’t.
We may have picked up that we mustn’t outshine others, or earn more than our parents, or to be smarter than our siblings or at least not act like it. We may have learned that we’re always just shy of what we wanted, don’t have enough time, enough money, or are enough. These are the false personal thermostats we have set for ourselves that need to be broken open to allow the light of truth in so we can move forward and re-set our new personal threshold thermostats.
Once we let go and shed the old stories and realize what we may have thought to be true, really isn’t; we are more open to the possibilities of recalibrating our thresholds and hold a new belief that we can be wildly successful, outrageously wealthy and gracious and giving at the same time, inconceivably happy and loving, and joyful beyond all recognition. It is our choice to move our thresholds up and up and up. It may be only a few degrees at a time because it may feel weird to be that happy or successful or wealthy and it’s uncomfortable. You may not think you deserve so much success in so many areas of your life.
When you notice yourself worrying too much, criticizing, irritated for not much reason or having accidents or illnesses; then you may be bumping up against one of your former thermostat thresholds. Maybe things are cooking along too well for you and it’s getting hot, so you self- sabotage in order to bring you back down to Earth. After all, who do you think you are, Ms. Smarty Pants? When you notice those things going on, then you need to take stock and see it for what it is; your old ego pulling you back down to your comfort zone because it’s like a pair of old jeans. Once you realize what’s happening; try another tack and ease your threshold back just a bit until you get comfortable with that setting, then keep easing up until you can really turn up the heat and roll with it. Breaking through those old barriers to get to your OH! Zone of brilliance is liberating.
Practice turning up the heat in all areas of your life and allow yourself the luxury of feeling great in all those areas. Know that if worry, agitation with friends, colleagues or mates and hiding feelings start creeping in, that you are at another threshold that needs to be pushed back so you can be on your merry way towards your area of brilliance just beyond the old thermostat thresholds. Know that every time you backtrack in fear or revert back to your old thinking and ways of moving through the world, that your threshold closes in on you and it gets hard and harder to break through. Make this be the year that you keep moving your threshold past your comfort zone and into your zone of brilliance….. the OH! zone.
You know when you’re entering your zone of brilliance when you feel at peace, in the zone, your work feels like play, you feel joy and gratitude, you feel like you get to do what you do in service to the world and not that you have to do what you do in service to others and you feel that what you’re doing is a full expression of yourself. You feel fulfilled, you feel fully expressed in all areas. It takes time to get all your duckies in order and it takes concentrated focus and a level of self- awareness. It takes reflection, thought and honesty to be 100% responsible for what you create beyond your thermostat threshold to catapult you into the OH! zone. Take some time before the year gets ahead of you and don’t waste another day with a low thermostat. Take some time to take stock and make a promise to turn up your thermostat threshold for success to see what it feels like to live in your OH! zone of brilliance. All the best of success to you in your journey.
It seems we’re being pulled in many directions by our personal and professional responsibilities. Leaders at work are answering to the front office and to their teams. Leaders at home are answering to friends, kids, spouses, faith, school, volunteer and sports groups. It’s a difficult challenge to honor free time spontaneously any more, so need to schedule some time for re-assessing our choices, reaffirming our paths, reconnecting with others who are like-minded, or not who have your best interest at heart.
I suggest planning a weekend getaway, or Energy Escape, to connect with close confidantes for brainstorming, master-minding and recharging your batteries. We tend to be in high gear producing and implementing and reacting to life at work and at home. Leaders sometimes have nobody to turn to at work to bounce ideas off of and discuss vulerabilities, possibilities and question their choices. Creating time and creating space with supportive friends and colleagues can help catapult you in the right direction and affirm what you are thinking is your direction, or help guide you down another path.
These gatherings can be weekly Success Teams or Mastermind Circles or quarterly gatherings or even larger annual affairs in person with emails and calls in between the weekend soiree. Hiring a coach to bounce things off of is another option. I find my clients and myself included tend to talk our way through situations better than if we just think it through in our heads on our own. The synergy of the group and the energy it brings to the issue results in a much better and clearer outcome. We tend to question ourselves and when we have the confirmation of a group of knowledgeable and respected professionals and friends; we get it faster and it sticks. There’s something about accountability and knowing others are believing in you and counting on you to do what you say that helps propel us forward in the right direction.
I’ve experienced a few of those weekend gatherings recently which I call Energy Escapes, and have another planned in the near future. They are uplifting, energizing, refreshing and rejuvenating. There’s something about being together in a different setting without distractions to sit and be and talk and set imaginations free for coming up with solutions to professional and personal issues. A nice number is 5-7 attendees coming together with their ideas for others and asking for what support and resources from the group they want as well. Being focused on each person at a time and coming together to pool resources generates incredible outcomes in these synergy sessions. It also helps each participant live and lead more Hartfully, staying closer to their truth, their heart, their centered way of moving through the world. It keeps us focused on the right path and gives us the courage to choose that path.
Why not plan for a solo getaway to get refocused on your personal goals and then plan several more with your pals to help each other achieve their goals as well. I generally use the holidays and the new year change-over to reassess what I’ve accomplished the past year and what lies ahead – calling it my year in review and year in preview. See earlier blog posts about that and the Hot 100 List. I see these gatherings as my 10,000 mile check-up and continual tune-ups for a life well lived in a very Hartful way. Try it yourself and see how much further along the right path you go with the help of others (pals, coaches, colleagues, other professionals) who are conspiring in your favor vs. doing it on your own. I bet you’ll see a vast difference. Facilitating Energy Escapes is something you do for yourself so you can do more for others. It’s a way of giving back to the world your best self with your highest goals in mind.
It never ceases to amazing me, the rushing about, the velocity of people and the ramping up of activity as we roll into the holiday season. As if many of our lives aren’t hectic enough jammed packed with busy-ness; we amp up and cram in more activities. I dare you to put a little more white space into your life. Make space for serendipity and make room for new things to flow into your path. If our lives and our homes and offices, and cars and garages and closets and calendars are filled to maximum capacity; how is the Universe going to send something to an already-full space? Clear out some stuff to make room for what matters more.
When I was in full-tilt keynote speaker mode for many years; I would always schedule some play time in the city where I was speaking to spend time with friends who lived nearby or to explore a new area. I would also “try” to schedule a down day after a trip to regroup and recharge before going out again for another program. Of course I was also guilting of booking back-to-back programs, in different parts of the world or the country in the same week or sometimes in the, gasp, same day. That would stress me out to no end if I did book something in two different states on the same day – hoping no weather-related or flight-related incidents cropped up. I paid the price for it with stress and exhaustion. I would run into other speakers at conventions who would tell me that they were doing 150 programs that year. My response was “are you bragging or complaining”…. followed by “I’m sorry to hear that.” Which usually got a wierd look in response.
Boundaries. We need to set boundaries and create white space in our lives to allow space for ourselves and our thoughts and day dreaming and planning. My hunch is the over-stuffed schedules come from a fear-based approach to not wanting to lose out on an income-producing opportunity, or to lose out to a competitor or to have to sit with ourselves and our thoughts for just a moment. A fear that we will somehow miss whatever it is may be happening whereever we may not be. Wealth and income cannot and will not flow into a space that is not accepting of it. If you have no room for more to flow in, it won’t. Period. Are you ready for more flow in your life and to release the old stuff and old ways to have more white space?
Most people spend more time writing out their holiday gift list than writing out their life plan and their dream list or their self-improvement list and goals. Why not take a breather this coming holiday season and spend time at home, away from the malls, off the freeways, out of your in-laws or relatives homes and create some more white space within yourself and within your life. I guarantee it will allow you space to Refresh, Refocus and Reconnect with you.
If you’re feeling crazed or off track or stuck or whipped up into a frenzy with all the stuff you usually do rolling into this time of year; I offer you permission to Refresh your frazzled nerves any way that feels organice and natural to who you are. It could be feeding the ducks, going to an art museum, getting a massage, facial or mani/pedi, sipping coffee on the porch, bubble baths or naps. Whatever it is that recharges your batteries, create white space for it.
Refocus and reframe your situation and your choices and your usual to-do lists during the upcoming time of year. Refocus on what you want to do for you so you can better serve others in the future. You can’t give what you don’t have, so regaining your energy and your focus makes you better at what you do. Leaders can’t lead well if their nerves are shot and their attention is scattered. Refocus on what matters most and drop the rest.
Reconnect with your Source, Yourself and Others. Make room for Spirit to work magic in your life and invite positive energy into your intentions. Reconnect with yourself through radical release. Release the old ways of running ragged. Dump the notion that the holidays mean stress. For the past few decades I’ve made a promise to myself to stay out of the malls and shopping centers between Thanksgiving and Martin Luther King Day to avoid the craziness. That is my release from all things un-spirited about the spirit of the season. No more lines, no more figting for parking, no more crowds…it’s quite a good feeling to be released from all of that negativity. I’ve come to love home delivery of my groceries and drug store purchases. Releasing myself from those time-zapping errands gives me a few hours of more white space per month and reduces my stress levels. What can you release from your life to give you more energy for other things that matter more?
Reconnecting with friends – making room for more time to really connect, not just on Facebook. Reconnecting through phone calls, sending a heart-felt card or meeting face to face the olf-fashioined way lifts our spirits. My gift to you is to send a free card to somebody and reconnect with them. Let them know you’re thinking about them – a real card with a stamp and envelope that will land in their mailbox, anywhere in the world. There’s a video that will walk you through how to send it – my treat – http://www.BizBuilderCards.com.
How can you practice radical release and create more white space in your life over the holidays and every day? What new habits can you form that will give you more wiggle room? What things and activities can you delete from your life and your space to make room for the Universe to bring you something that matters more? I double dog dare you to start creating more white space in the margins of your life and allow the flow to come to you. If there is no space for it to flow to you, it will flow to somebody else and you stay stuck in your ways. Let me know what things you’ve released from your life to make more white space to BE.
It was Independence Day 16 years ago that I had an idea to write a book. The ideas for the book kept flowing to me the week before and I couldn’t stop the flow if I tried. It was the exact opposite of writer’s block, it was writer’s tsunami. I sat on my deck and started to write and write and write in my spiral-bound notebook. Yes, this was before the advent of laptops and digital notebooks. 🙂 I put myself on house arrest for 4 days over the long weekend and kept writing until I ran out of ideas.
I’d been noticing how everybody I seemed to meet in America was tired, lacked energy and vitality and a zest for living fully. I’d been in Europe for the past 10 years and coming back to the hectic, frantic, stressed-out East coast was quite a culture shock. I decided to write the little book Hit Any Key to Energize Your Life: a Caffeine-free Guide to Perk Up Your Spirits. I gained my independence after putting pen to paper over those 4 days because that little book hit a nerve. That little book launched a career and a passion and decades of research into what makes some people have tons of energy and some people barely make it home from work each day before launching into bed to do it again tomorrow. That little idea gave me the independence to travel the world and speak on the topic I love and help people regain their energy and spice for their business and their life.
I was known as Gail Howerton when I first published the book in 1997. You never forget your first book…. and there have been at least 30 more which I’ve written or published pieces and parts in, but it was that first one that gave me the independence to make choices to be the messenger and mentor to many so they can do their life’s work. At last check, that little book was still for sale on quite a few websites in the first edition. I’ve since gone to e-book format and updated it many times over with new and improved information. But it started with a spark, and idea, an itch and an intution to listen to the tidalwave of ideas that kept coming in wave after wave.
What do you need independence from? What ideas are you listening to or ignoring? Where is your itch? What is working for you and what is not? From what, or who do you need to extricate yourself from so that you are independent, or at least inter-dependent so that you gain yourself, your freedom, your wings to soar into your zone of brilliance. You can start any old day, but why not start on Independence Day? It’s a great marker day that you won’t soon forget. Start now to listen to the ideas that you can’t turn off. There is a reason they get louder and louder and louder – you need to listen. Is it independence from a memory, an ex, debt, TV, chips, a job you hate, a friend who is taking more than giving, an employee who is making your life harder rather than easier, a bad habit, shopping addiction or any addiction for that matter, something that doesn’t serve you any more? What is it that you can claim your independence from? Excuses? Complaining? Gossip? Housekeeping? (I’m a big fan of outsourcing to gain independence from things not in my zone of brilliance.)
I’ve also found a new good habbit several years ago adding to the independence being an independent distributor and collecting residual income. Aaaaahhhh, the ring of residual income, so sweet. I felt the same waves of excitement and ideas coming to me once I heard about the possibilities of Send Out Cards. The thoughts of how business owners could use it for relatioship marketing and customer appreciation, of how to remember birthdays and anniversaries and make sending cards and gifts easier and most cost effective, of how to help organizations earn additional income and families to earn additional income in the current financial climate and how military families can stay connected or college students can earn income or write home easily. The possibilities seemed endless to me and the ideas and income just keep on coming.
Check it out for yourself and send some custom greeting cards on me as my gift to you at BizBuilderCards.com. You may just find your way to independence through sending out positive vibes, kindness and appreciation. Making a living through giving feels good for the sender and the receiver and independence never felt so good as sending love and gratitude around the world. Cheers to your independence!